FROM LOS ANGELES — The Pac-12 tournament begins in roughly six hours, and Washington State will be there to help get it started. Man, a 12:10 p.m. game on the first day? A little early for my taste. I'd prefer something later. Like, maybe 8 or 9 p.m. Just kidding, Vince. Read on, because we have quite a bit to get to.
On the basketball side, we have our game advance, which focuses on Washington State trying to beat Oregon State for a third time. Is the third time really that much harder than the first two? I've never thought so. To me, in theory, every major conference team is going to be difficult to beat on some level. Maybe in the Pac-12 this season, not so much. And in every conference you're always going to have your cellar-dwellars. But for the most part, every game requires great effort to win. So when you do win, it's a big deal. And if you do it twice against the same team, it's a bigger deal. And if you do it a third time, it's an even bigger deal. Not because the fact that you beat a team twice necessarily makes it harder to beat them a third time. But because, well, it's just hard to win, period, against an evenly-matched team, so of course it's harder to win two or three times in the same season. Teams make adjustments from game to game based on what the opponent has already shown them, sure. But there's only so much you can change, schematically, over the course of a season. Just my two (or three) cents. … WSU was selected as a host team for next season's CBE Classic, and you can read about that in this blog post. … Our series of profiles on WSU's football assistants continued today with a look at assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. … Brock Motum spoke with KJR 950 AM in Seattle yesterday, the audio of which is embedded below. Among the highlights — he said he'd have picked UW's Terrence Ross as Pac-12 Player of the Year, and said he plans to return to WSU for his senior season and try to lead the team to an NCAA tournament appearance. … Motum was named first-team all-district by the USBWA. … Howie Stalwick has an advance in the Kitsap Sun. … Oregon State's Jared Cunningham said Ross should have been Player of the Year, too. … BYU, WSU's first opponent this season, is experimenting with its safeties.
As for the rest of Wednesday's Pac-12 action …
No. 8 Washington State vs. No. 9 Oregon State, 12:10 p.m. (FSN)
No. 5 UCLA vs. No. 12 USC, 2:40 p.m. (FSN): Both of these teams could use an offseason. The Bruins at least have some momentum, while the Trojans are just trying to give themselves a chance. T.J. Simers cautions that we shouldn't compare Ben Howland to John Wooden.
No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 11 Utah, 8:40 p.m. (FSN): The conference's two newcomers meet for the third time this season. Utah's coach is maintaining his resolve. The Utes aren't giving up. Bill Oram previews the tournament. The Buffaloes have a sense of urgency.
Sean Miller is disappointed with the position Arizona is in right now. The Wildcats' freshmen need to step up. … Some more examination of what went wrong in the Pac-12. … Chris Dufresne says the Big West tourney could be more entertaining than the Pac-12. … Jon Wilner examines the Pac-12 teams' Nitty Gritty sheets. … Garrett Sim is close to an Oregon record. … Lots more reports out there about the prospect of the Pac-12 tournament moving to Las Vegas. … USC's football team has something to prove as it begins spring practices. … Arizona is relying on a young quarterback as it begins spring drills. … Bud Withers takes a look inside the head of a selection committee member.
That's all for now. We'll be back from Staples Center in a bit with our pregame post.